What is a Stem Cell?

Published: August 18, 2005
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All mammals begin as two cells — sperm and egg — that combine into a single cell. This single cell will divide exponentially into specialized cells making up various organs and systems — all the tissues of a new organism.

Simply put, a stem cell is an immature cell that can become a different cell, or perhaps become one of many different cells.

Most stem cells also can renew themselves — divide — indefinitely. These two characteristics are what present a new pathway to repairing damage to the human body caused by trauma, degeneration and disease.